I spent a good portion of my night last night looking through my Facebook feed before bed.
I clicked on the right side bar that allows you to browse different months and years of your "Facebook life." I went to January. From there I just scrolled.. and scrolled.. and scrolled. It started with the initial post sharing my treatment plan. I remember how many times I read and re-read it before clicking publish and how fearful I was of doing so. But, much like every other little step in this wonderful journey, my fear was much smaller than my faith. I had no idea what would come of posting it or the amount of insanely generous support I would receive. I don't think at that point I could have ever predicted the level of love that I would be showered with.
I remember feeling knots in my stomach like never before at the time of that publish. I was packing my bags for Arizona to undergo a treatment that every traditional oncologist suggested I stay away from. I was fearful of what people would think, but bigger than that fear was my faith that God was with me. He was speaking to my heart so loudly about healing in a unique way and showing the world it could be done. He kept giving me unignorable signs. I honestly remember praying "Okay, I know you keep giving me little signs God, but I need bigger ones. Tell me this is what you need me to do. Tell me again that this is my calling." And soon after, it became extremely clear to me. (Ask and you shall receive I suppose). The signs came rolling in and by that point I knew I was going to follow. I had no idea where I would end up. I lived in fear that my plan wasn't going to be good enough, that taking a holistic approach would fail, just as the doctors told me it would. I feared sharing my treatment plan with others, scared that their reaction might be negative.
How very wrong I was. Within minutes of clicking "publish" on my very first blog and my fundraising website, my phone was blowing up like crazy. It was a moment I will never forget. I was in awe of the messages that began rolling in of love, encouragement, support, and praise. It was truly amazing seeing all of the beautiful people in my life, who may have known me all 20 years of life or those who have never met me at all, show support in a multitude of ways.
From there I posted my first blog in Arizona. I read it last night. It's almost like an old diary that you look back and reflect on what it felt like writing it. You're automatically taken back to what you were wearing, smelling, feeling, and thinking (or maybe that's just me.. I remember stupid little details regardless). I kept scrolling to find posts on my wall that took me back to reading them for the first time and how wonderful that felt. There were so many of you who shared my blog posts on your page with kind messages attached.
Each day in Arizona I'd receive some sort of notification that connected me with my roots back home. I was in an unfamiliar place, away from familiar faces, away from loved ones, away from anything I had ever known and YOU made me feel connected. Its what pushed me to keep smiling, to stay positive, and to constantly see how the good overshadows the bad. You helped me fight when I was weak.
I stumbled upon the "Kick for A Cause" fundraiser from my old gym Farrells in Iowa City (how amazing is this video?!). It honestly still brings me to tears .I'll never forget the first time I watched it, after perhaps one of my hardest treatment days.
There's different photos with family that came to visit and friends that did too. I was never alone. And that was key. Cancer free or not. That is all I needed. To say I am a people person is an understatement: people are my world. So having all of you made me not only completely content, but truly happy, even with cancer. That right there is an empowering feeling, to know even though you have something so "deadly" that provokes giant frowns and puppy dog eyes in strangers, you are insanely happy - it's amazing. You've given me that through the support of my journey. That is something that I NEVER could have done for myself, I needed you to help me. The motivation to keep going came from the support of each one of you. Every share, comment, post, photo, or message contributed to my willingness to keep posting, writing, updating, and fighting
Six months ago today I recieved the best news I will ever recieve in my entire life. And no matter how crazy it sounds I will shout from the rooftops that my diagnosis was the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am forever changed because of it.
Six months later: I am attending Cleveland Chiropractic College in pursuit of my Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. Jeremy and I live together in Kansas City, treatments here are going wonderfully, and my body continues to get healthier and stronger every step of the way. I thank the Lord for changing me from the inside out, for replacing fears and anxiety with a growing faith. God continues to be at work within my soul. I am not who I was, nor who I will be. I continue to embrace the gift of each day as something sacred, treasured, and never promised. I can't wait to see what is in store for this journey next.
I could never thank you enough for blessing me so graciously these past six months. Here's to many more to come!
With my genuine love and endless gratitude,
Some of my favorites from the last six months.